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SHE IS VISITED BY TWO NEIGHBOURS.
as you may perceive, been of late under much exercise in my soul about the death of your father ; not for that I doubt at all of his happiness; for I am satisfied now that he is well. I have been also
much affected with the thoughts of mine own estate • and yours, which I verily believe is by nature mise• rable. My carriage also to your father in his distress ' is a great load to my conscience: for I hardened • both my heart and your's against him, and refused « to go with him on pilgrimage.
· The thoughts of these things would now kill me outright, but for that a dream which I had last night, and but that for the encouragement this
stranger has given me this morning. Come, my · children, let us pack up, and be gone to the gate " that leads us to that celestial country, that we may
see your father, and be with him and his companions . in peace, according to the laws of that land.'
Then did her children burst out into tears, for joy that the heart of their mother was so inclined. So the visitor bid them farewell : and they began to prepare to set out for their journey.
But, while they were thus about to be gone, two of the women that were CHRISTIANA's neighbours came up to her house, and knocked at her door. To whom she said as before. At this the women were stunned; for this kind of language they used not to hear, or to perceive to drop from the lips of CHRISTIANA. Yet they came in: but behold, they found the good woman a preparing to be gone from her house.
TO WHOM SHE DECLARL HER INTENTION.
So they began and said, · Neighbour, pray what is your meaning by this?"
CHRISTIANA answered and said to the eldest of them, whose name was Mrs. TIMOROUS, I am
preparing for a journey. (This TIMOROUS was daughter to him that met CHRISTIAN upon the hill of Difficulty, and would have had him
back for fear of the lions'.)
Tim. For what journey, I pray you?
Chr. Even to go after my old husband. And with that she fell a weeping.
Tim. I hope not so, good neighbour; pray, for your poor children's sake, do not so unwomanly cast away yourself.
Chr. Nay, my children shall go with me, not one of them is willing to stay behind.
Tim. I wonder in my heart, what or who has brought you into this mind!
Chr, Oh, neighbour, knew you but as much as I do, I doubt not but that
would go along with me. Tim. Pr’ythee, what new knowledge hast thou got, that so worketh off thy mind from thy friends, and that tempteth thee to go nobody knows where?
Then ChrisTIANA replied, I have been, sorely afflicted since my husband's departure from me; but especially since he went over the river. But that which troubleth me most, is my churlish carriage to him, when he was under his distress.' Besides, I am now as he was then; nothing will serve me, but going on pilgrimage. I was a dreaming last night, that I saw
P. i. 43, 44.
TIMOROUS DISBADES HER FROM IT.
him. O that my soul was with him! He dwelleth in the presence of the King of the country; he sits and eats with him at his table; he is become a companion of immortals, and has a house now given him to dwell in, to which the best palaces on earth, if compared, seem to me but as a dunghill'. The Prince of the palace has also sent for me, with promises of entertainment, if I shall come to him; his messenger was here even now, and brought me a letter, which invites me to come. And with that she plucked out her letter, and read it, and said to them, What now will you say to this?
Tim. Oh, the madness that has possessed thee and thy husband! to run yourselves upon such difficulties! You have heard, I am sure, what your husband did meet with, even in a manner, at the first step that he took on his way, as our neighbour OBSTINATE can yet testify, for he went along with him; yea, and Pliable too, until they, like wise men, were afraid to go any further
We also heard, over and above, how he met with the lions, APOLLYON, the SHADOW OF DEATH, and many other things. Nor is the danger that he met with at VANITY-FAIR to be forgotten by thee. For if he, though a man, was so hard put toit, what canst thou, being but a poor woinan, do? Consider also, that these four sweet babes are thy children, thy flesh and thy bones. Therefore though thou shouldst be so rash as to cast away thyself; yet for the sake of the fruit of thy body, keep them at hoine.
MERCY INCLINES TO ACCOMPANY HER.
But CHRISTIANA said unto her, Tempt me not, my neighbour: I have now a price put into my
hand to get a gain, and I should be a fool of the greatest sort, if I should have no heart to strike in with the opportunity. And for that you tell me of all these troubles that I am like to meet with in the way, they are so far from being to me a discouragement, that they show I am in the right. The bitter must come before the sweet, and that also will make the sweet the sweeter. Wherefore since you came not to my house in God's name, as I said, I pray you be gone, and do not disquiet me further.
Then TIMOROUS also reviled her, and said to her fellow, - Come, neighbour MERCY, let us leave her in • her own hands, since she scorns our counsel and com
pany.' But Mercy was at a stand, and could not so readily comply with her neighbour; and that for a two-fold reason ist. Her bowels yearned over CHRISTIANA. So she said within herself, • If my neighbour will needs be gone, I will
way ' and help her.'-2dly. Her bowels yearned over her own soul; for what CHRISTIANA had said, had taken some hold upon her mind. Wherefore she said within herself again,' I will yet have more talk with
this CHRISTIANA; and, if I find truth and life in what she shall say, myself with my heart shall also
go with her.' Wherefore MERCY began thus to reply to her neighbour TIMOROUS.
Mer. Neighbour, I did indeed come with you to see CHRISTIANA this morning; and, since she is, as you see, a taking her last farewel of the country, I
think to walk this sun-shiny morning a little with her, to help her on her way. But she told her not of her second reason, but kept it to herself.
Tim. Well, I see you have a mind to go a fooling too; but take heed in time, and be wise; while we are out of danger, we are out; but, when we are in, we are in. So Mrs. TIMOROUS returned to her house, and CHRISTIANA betook herself to her journey. But, when TIMOROUS was got home to her house, she sends for some of her neighbours, to wit, Mrs. Bat'sEYES, Mrs. INCONSIDERATE, Mrs. LIGHT-MIND, and Mrs. KNOW-NOTHING. So, when they were come to her house, she falls to telling of the story of CHRISTIANA, and of her intended journey. And thus she began her tale
Neighbours, having but little to do this morning, I went to give CHRISTIANA a visit; and, when I came at the door, I knocked, as you know it is our custom: and she answered, “If you come in God's name, come in.' So in I went, thinking all was well: but, when I came in, I found her preparing herself to depart the town; she, and also her children. So I asked her, what was her meaning by that? And she told me in short, that she was now of a mind to go on pilgrimage, as did her husband. She told me also a dream that she had, and how the King of the country where her husband was had sent her an inviting letter to come thither.
Then said Mrs. KNOW-NOTHING, And what do you think she will go?
Tim. Ay, go she will, whatever come on't; and methinks I know it by this; for that which was my